Abandoned Vietnamese baby previously treated at a S'pore hospital dies

Baby Trieu Hoai An was flown to Singapore for treatment in April, and returned to Vietnam in June. She died on Friday.
Baby Trieu Hoai An was flown to Singapore for treatment in April, and returned to Vietnam in June. She died on Friday.ST FILE PHOTO

A Vietnamese baby girl who was treated at a Singapore hospital in April after being left for dead in her home country has died.

Trieu Hoai An, who was three months and three weeks old, died on Friday morning at the Hue Quang monastery near Da Lat city, about 300km north-east of Ho Chi Minh City.

In a Facebook post later that day, her primary caregiver, the Venerable Minh Tai, said that Hoai An woke up crying at about 3am, but managed to fall back asleep after being fed some milk by a nun.

At around 4am, when the nun checked on her again, the baby had stopped breathing, said the abbess.

Hoai An was found at just a few days old in a plastic bag hanging from a tree in a Vietnamese coffee plantation after a farmer had heard her crying.

Sunburnt and covered in insect bites, she had a festering wound in her badly swollen head and maggots in her eyes and nose.

Doctors at a local hospital said there was little they could do and gave her less than a year to live.

With no known family, she was adopted by Venerable Minh Tai of the Hue Quang temple near Da Lat.

Her heart-wrenching story came to light after she was brought to Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital for treatment on April 10, thanks to donations from people all across Vietnam.

 

Doctors in Singapore said Hoai An had hydrocephalus - a swelling of the head. She was then about three weeks old. At the hospital here, she made quick progress in her recovery and was able to return to Da Lat on June 25.

However, doctors had said she was not out of the woods yet, as there was a possibility she could have a more serious condition.

Yesterday, a hospital spokesman said that baby Hoai An's care team was saddened to learn of her death.

"She was a spirited baby who fought bravely despite her condition. We would like to extend our condolences to Venerable Minh Tai and her caretakers," the spokesman said.

"May Hoai An rest in peace."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 14, 2019, with the headline 'Abandoned Vietnamese baby previously treated at a S'pore hospital dies'. Print Edition | Subscribe